The students' union should be one of your first ports of call when visiting the campus for the first time. It's the hub of activity - the life and soul of the campus and is THE place for students to hang out, relax or get helpful advice on any aspect of uni life.
What is a students' union?
Students’ unions are a separate organisation to the universities and its main role is to represent students and accommodate their needs. It a complete urban myth that the union is a place where everyone goes to get hammered on cheap booze.
Modern students’ unions provide far more opportunities than just a bar. In fact it’s main purpose is to represent and look after the wellbeing of its student members.
Sports and societies are run by the students' union
Unions run and develop societies, advocate volunteering and get highly involved in charity work both locally and nationally. Many unions do provide fantastic gig venues and many chart-toppers often play.
Sports play a big part at university and the union is the chief organiser of sporting events.
How to become a member of your students' union
Well the normal practices are that every student registered at the university automatically become a member of a Union unless you choose to opt out. but why on earth would you want to?
For students, by students!
You’ll come across “For Students, Not Profit” and “Run by student, for students” a lot at university. These are fundamental and should not be taken lightly. It’s your Union and you get to decide exactly what happens.
Unions are exempt charities
Unions are exempt charities and receive block grants from the university each year. It is up to the Union to maximise this grant by providing services and opportunities for students to develop.
All the money you plough into the Union (whether that be a baguette, chocolate bar, or entrance fee to a gig) is put back into the Union to provide services such as welfare and societies for you!
How does a students' union run?
The Union is a democratic organisation, meaning students control what’s going on. AGMs take place once a year and Union councils meet regularly where you can pose questions to the student officers in charge.
Executive Committees vary from Union to Union. All positions are open to all students members. So you can run an election campaign to stand for presidency or one of the many vice president positions such as welfare, sports, communications and many more.